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Want to Run Your Own Nonprofit?

Guest blog by Sheila Johnson

If you have been considering starting your very own nonprofit organization, you must have the resources you need to become a successful leader. That includes answers to your most pressing questions.

 What does it really take to be a successful nonprofit leader and manager?

 This is a perfect first question to ask yourself before starting your own nonprofit:

  • Look to others with experience in the area for effective coaching and advice on how to successfully lead your new venture.
  • Know that being an effective leader requires more than passion and a desire to help others.
  • Consider starting a small fundraiser to see if you’re ready to devote the time and energy needed to successfully run a nonprofit.

 Can I run a business and a nonprofit at the same time?

 The short answer to this is yes but there are a few crucial points to consider:

  • Operating a nonprofit under a business structure is not generally allowed, but you could theoretically open a subsidiary for-profit business to support your nonprofit.
  • Your nonprofit can be established as a 501(c)(3) corporation in order to obtain tax-exempt status, but you must apply through the IRS.

 Are there any reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations?

 Yes, qualifying for and maintaining your 501(c)(3) status requires very detailed reporting:

  • There are five essential reporting areas to keep your nonprofit legal, legitimate and transparent. These include detailed records of activities, cash flow, and expenses.
  • Using a comprehensive expense tracking and batch invoicing software tool will make the latter less time-consuming and also reduce the error for mistakes that could be costly later.

How can I build fundraising strategies that attract dedicated supporters?

 Reporting is key for building trust with your potential donors in addition to dedicated efforts:

  • Any fundraising plans or strategies you develop should be concrete, concise and measurable. Your efforts should make donors feel involved and increase awareness.
  • Creating a detailed donor stewardship plan will help you retain those initial supporters and cultivate meaningful relationships with potential funders. There should be five steps.

 What role should a board of directors play in the structure of a nonprofit?

 All legitimate nonprofits should have a board of directors to oversee critical operations:

  • In any given nonprofit, the board of directors exists as a governing body to ensure that the organization in question is being operated within the bounds of the law and ethics.
  • To build an effective board, you need to recruit top candidates. This all starts with creating transparent, proactive, and powerful programs that make a true impact.

 If you want to affect change and help others, there’s no better way than to start a nonprofit of your own. Make sure yours has what it takes to succeed and reach those who need help the most by using all of the tips, resources, and links in this guide. Good luck with this worthy cause!

 Photo Credit: Pexels

Thank you to Sheila Johnson for writing this guest blog.

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